(Above: In happier times, George Will contemplates fellating Hank Paulson while the Secretary lectures Lou Piniella on the “moral hazard” of pulling pitchers too soon)

Decades of Republican-led market deregulation have been coming home to roost lately while the world slowly learns that US-style book-cooking has indeed poked its member into everyone’s mashed potatoes.   As markets catch fire, a massive reconsideration of assumptions is underway, the biggest of which is the question of optimism itself.  And nowhere in the worlds of high finance and sport is there a greater confluence of insane, unsustainable optimism than what is found in the stands at Wrigley Field.  While historic, it isn’t a surprise to learn that along with commercial paper, credit derivatives and stock indexes, the bottom is falling out on the loyalty futures of America’s team as sellers rush to market.  The Chicago Tribune’s James Janega reports:

Bidding will close early next week on eBay item 120313290200 ” one heartbroken man’s Cubs loyalty.

Even before Saturday night’s wrenching loss swept the team from contention for a World Series title ” for the 100th year in a row ” Scot Moore decided he’d had enough.

“In the interest of sparing my emotions from one more gut-wrenching season,” the 30-year-old Minneapolis resident wrote on eBay after Thursday’s Game 2 flameout against the Los Angeles Dodgers, “I am auctioning off my loyalty to the Chicago Cubs.”

Moore grew up in Wheaton and has been a Cubs fan for as long as he remembers ” long before he logged on to the online auction site Friday as “lenina4sammy” and made his long-suffering Cubs devotion a liquid commodity.

As of Tuesday afternoon, bids topped $455 ” plus $4.80 shipping and handling (for what, we don’t know). Bidding closes Monday. Moore said he will donate the money to two small theater troupes in Minneapolis, burn what remains of his Cubs memorabilia, and wear a sports jersey of the winning bidder’s choosing.

Ben, if you need any help setting up a PayPal account, I’m here for you.